Toomas Vint

Novels Toomas Vint

Short stories

About Toomas Vint


Toomas Vint (b. 5. III 1944) is a painter and writer.

He was born in Tallinn, attended number 10 secondary school there, and from 1962 to 1966 studied biology at the State University of Tartu. From 1967 to 1971 he worked as an assistant director at Estonian Television. Thereafter he became a freelance artist and writer. Toomas Vint has been a member of the Estonian Artists’ Union since 1973 and of the Estonian Writers’ Union since 1977.

In 1968 Toomas Vint’s poetry collection Suitsupilvedest unistus (‘Dream in Clouds of Smoke’) in the almanac publication Hees, which circulated in manuscript, and contained the author’s own linocuts as illustrations. In the same year Vint’s first prose pieces appeared in the press. The seventies were very productive for Toomas Vint as a writer. He produced numerous collections of short prose. The work of Vint’s earlier period carries the keynotes of solitariness, conflicting mental states, the interweaving of unreality and reality.

After a somewhat less productive period, a new creative resurgence began in 1995. Almost every year Vint produced a new work. Post-modernist features started to appear in the novels. The novel Kojamehe naine (‘The Janitor’s Wife’, 1995) shocked readers with its sexual openness; the novel Lõppematu maastik (‘Endless Landscape’) did so with its use of prototypes from real life.

Toomas Vint is a writer with a distinctive style. His strength lies primarily in appreciating and describing a person’s mental life. His protagonists are contemporary people, distinguished by solitariness, uncertainty and yearning. Often this situation is explained by the protagonist, rather than by his surroundings. Characters behave irrationally, and they are rarely happy. In some novels Vint has concentrated on the mutual relationship between life and art. He loves the grotesque, the playful, and his short stories have unexpected and clever turns.

Toomas Vint has produced eleven collections of stories and twelve novels. Three times, in 1979, 1984 and 2012 he has won the Friedebert Tuglas short story award. In 1997 his novel Lõppematu maastik won the Literature Endowment annual award. In 2012 Vint was decorated with the Order of the White Star, Class III. In 2014 Vint’s collection, consisting of reproductions of 16 paintings with 16 short stories, Mõned kummalised naised (‘A Few Strange Women’), appeared, and was awarded the Eduard Vilde literature prize in 2015. The poetry collection 1968, which appeared in 2018, recalls the author’s bohemian youth.

L. P. (Translated by C. M.)

Books in Estonian

Väikelinna romaan. Tallinn: Eesti Raamat, 1980. 160 lk.
Suur isane kala akvaariumis. Tallinn: Eesti Raamat, 1985. 127 lk.
Kojamehe naine. Tallinn: Varrak, 1995. 142 lk.
Lõppematu maastik. Tallinn: Varrak, 1997. 253 lk.
Kunstnikuromaan. Tallinn: Varrak, 1998. 335 lk.
Nädalavahetusel. Mängides. Tallinn: Varrak, 1999. 166 lk.
Kaine kuu ja purjus päike. Tallinn: Eesti Keele Sihtasutus, 2001. 224 lk.
Minu abielu prostituudiga. Tallinn: Eesti Keele Sihtasutus, 2003. 236 lk.
Topeltvalguses [Triloogia 2. raamat]. Tallinn: Eesti Keele Sihtasutus, 2005. 270 lk.
Mäluauguga naine [Triloogia 3. raamat]. Tallinn: Eesti Keele Sihtasutus, 2007. 194 lk.
Üüriline. Tallinn: Tulikiri, 2009. 258 lk.
Avalikult abielust. Tallinn: Tulikiri, 2012. 229 lk.

Short prose
Kahel pool hekiga palistatud teed [novellid]. Tallinn: Eesti Raamat, 1974. 157 lk.
Ringmäng [jutustus]. Tallinn: Perioodika, 1975. 72 lk.
Perekondlikud mängud. Tallinn: Eesti Raamat, 1977. 242 lk.
Pööre & veeremäng [novellid ja lühijutud]. Tallinn: Eesti Raamat, 1979. 164 lk.
Tantsud Mozarti saatel [novellid ja lühijutud]. Tallinn: Eesti Raamat, 1983. 165 lk.
Kahekesi [novellid]. Tallinn: Eesti Raamat, 1988. 142 lk.
Naisepiinaja. Õnnenatukene. Tallinn: Olion, 1996. 216 lk.
Elamise sulnis õudus. Kogumik jutte ja mälestusi. Tallinn: Kunst, 2000. 220 lk.
Himm. Jutustused. Tallinn: Tuum, 2002. 117 lk.
Õnneliku lõpuga lood. Tallinn: Eesti Keele Sihtasutus, 2004. 216 lk.
Kunstniku elu: jutte ja mälestusi. Tallinn: Tulikiri, 2011. 165 lk.
Mõned kummalised naised. Tallinn: Tulikiri, 2014. 239 lk.
Meeldivalt tühi ruum. Tallinn: Tulikiri, 2019. 235 lk.

Suitsupilvedest unistus. Tallinn: Noorte Autorite Koondis, 1968. 31 lk.
1968. Tallinn: Tulikiri, 2018. 85 lk.